Denel Ltd is a South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

n state owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate established in 1991. It was created when the manufacturing subsidiaries
A subsidiary company, subsidiary, or daughter company is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a...

 of Armscor
Armscor (South Africa)
Armscor , the Armaments Corporation of South Africa is a South African government-supported weapon-producing conglomerate that was officially established in 1968, primarily as a response to the international sanctions by the United Nations against South Africa that began in 1963 and...

 were split off in order for Armscor to become the procurement agency for South African Defence Force
South African Defence Force
The South African Defence Force was the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. The former Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force in the Defence Act of 1957...

 (SADF), now known as the South African National Defence Force
South African National Defence Force
The South African National Defence Force is the armed forces of South Africa. The military as it exists today was created in 1994, following South Africa's first post-apartheid national elections and the adoption of a new constitution...

 (SANDF), and the manufacturing divisions were grouped together under Denel (Pty) Ltd as divisions.

Denel was established as a state-owned industrial company under the Ministry of Public Enterprises in April 1992. It inherited most of Armscor's production and research facilities, and over 15 000 employees. At the time of its formation, Denel restructured and reorganised the former Armscor subsidiaries into a number of divisions and subsidiaries within five industrial groups: systems, manufacturing, aerospace, informatics, and properties and engineering services.

Denel has developed a number of notable products, such as:
  • The Umkhonto
    Umkhonto missile
    Umkhonto is a South African, vertical launch surface-to-air missile manufactured by Denel Dynamics available in infrared homing and radar homing version .-Umkhonto-IR Mk1:...

     vertical launched air defense missile.
  • Mokopa
    The Mokopa is a South African air-to-ground missile, designed primarily for use as an anti-tank weapon. It is currently in its final stages of development, and is being integrated onto the South African Air Force's Rooivalk attack helicopters. The missile is produced by Denel Dynamics, formerly...

     tandem warhead anti-tank guided missile
    Anti-tank guided missile
    An anti-tank missile , anti-tank guided missile , anti-tank guided weapon or anti-armor guided weapon is a guided missile primarily designed to hit and destroy heavily-armored military vehicles....

    , with a range of 10km.
  • Together with Gerald Bull
    Gerald Bull
    Gerald Vincent Bull was a Canadian engineer who developed long-range artillery. He moved from project to project in his quest to launch economically a satellite using a huge artillery piece, to which end he designed the Project Babylon "supergun" for the Iraqi government...

    , the G6
    G6 howitzer
    The G6 self-propelled howitzer is a South African artillery piece, developed around the ordnance of the G5 howitzer. It is one of the most powerful self-propelled guns on a wheeled chassis....

     self-propelled howitzer and G5
    G5 howitzer
    The G5 is a South African towed howitzer of 155 mm calibre designed with the help of the Canadian scientist Gerald Bull and his company, Space Research Corporation and manufactured by Denel Land Systems.-Production history:...

     towed howitzer, the longest ranged guns in their class worldwide, supported with base bleed
    Base bleed
    Base bleed is a system used on some artillery shells to increase their range, typically by about 30%.Most of the drag on an artillery shell comes from the nose of the shell, as it pushes the air out of its way at supersonic speeds. Shaping the shell properly can reduce this greatly. However,...

    , VLAP and the advanced fuzing
    Fuze Beverage, commercially referred to as just Fuze , is a manufacturer of teas and non-carbonated fruit drinks enriched with vitamins. Currently the brand consists of five vitamin-infused lines: Slenderize, Refresh, Tea, Defensify, and Vitalize...

  • The 5th generation A-Darter
    A-Darter (missile)
    The A-Darter is a fifth generation short range infrared homing air-to-air missile, under development by South Africa's Denel Dynamics and Brazil's Mectron. It is expected to enter service with the South African Air Force, Brazilian Air Force and be offered for export...

     air-to-air missile
    Air-to-air missile
    An air-to-air missile is a missile fired from an aircraft for the purpose of destroying another aircraft. AAMs are typically powered by one or more rocket motors, usually solid fuelled but sometimes liquid fuelled...

    , currently in the final phases of development.

The Overberg Test Range is used for advanced aerial testing by NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

 and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 to name a few.

Though Denel's market share
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 is increasing, it still has not signed significant international contracts that will bring a real market return for its investments in development and research costs. In 2006, Denel signed a contract with the Finnish Navy
Finnish Navy
The Finnish Navy is one of the branches of the Finnish Defence Forces. The Navy employs 2,300 people and about 4,300 conscripts are trained each year. Finnish Navy vessels are given the ship prefix "FNS" simply short for "Finnish Navy Ship"...

 for the Umkhonto air defence missile
Umkhonto missile
Umkhonto is a South African, vertical launch surface-to-air missile manufactured by Denel Dynamics available in infrared homing and radar homing version .-Umkhonto-IR Mk1:...

; this was a significant step, since it was the first significant sale to a western nation. The Swedish defense force was also interested in the Umkhonto missile, but due to budget constraints had to put their plan on hold.

Though Denel has comparable quality products, at lower prices, it has a continuous net loss on income and transition to democracy since 1994 is worrisome to buyers if the state will continue funding this loss. This might be the reason for Denel's most worrisome challenge, being the sale of the Rooivalk attack helicopter, which was developed at a cost of US$1billion and after the losing of a contract from Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 for $2 billion and other countries only mentioning interest, but no contract coming forth. The sale of the Rooivalk, which could be Denel's most profitable project, also threatens to be its largest loss ever.


The following divisions form part of Denel (Pty) Ltd
  • Denel Aviation
    Denel Aviation
    Denel Aviation is a division of Denel, the South African armaments company. It is primarily focused on maintenance, repair and overhaul of both Rotary and Fixed Wing Aircraft and associated components and GS & TE, in support of the South African Air Force, its primary customer....

  • Denel Dynamics
  • Denel Land Systems
  • Denel Personnel Solutions
  • Denel PMP
  • Denel SAAB Aerostructures
  • Integrated Systems Solutions
  • Mechem
  • Overberg Test Range

Associated companies

  • Carl Zeiss Optronics
  • Rheinmetall Denel Munition
  • Turbomeca Africa

External links

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